Pretty rare these days that we review an actually Scotch whisky. Prices have been on the climb for a while as various shortages are made up or actually occur. Because of these shortfalls, distillers are having to get more creative.
No Specific Age whiskies have always existed, usually on the lower shelves, coming in cheaper than their aged brandmates. But now they’re appearing alongside aged bottles from established distillers – not an issue on its own, but after years of being told to look for an age on the side of bottles, this pivot does make me wonder what we were paying for.
However, Ileach is not an argument in favour of unspecified ages, if anything it’s quite the opposite. This peaty whisky says on the box it’s from the impossible to find online Highlands & Islands Whisky Company which has no web presence, so I can’t tell you much about it. We do know they’re bottlers and not distillers, so it could be anything. This thread from 14 years ago has some wild ideas. I did find mention of The Vintage Malt company on one of these boards and found Ileach there, but there were no hits on Google for this. Weird. The website is just marketing copy, most of it word-for-word what’s on the box. Here’s what we thought:
Dan – smoky spearmint or eucalyptus, old leather & molasses, rosewood smoked salt, toffee
Simon – v smoky, mint, vegetable, smolder, feet?, marsh, peat, bbq baked beans
Steve – wow, very scotch, peat
Goran – smoka da baby, marshmallow campfire
Dan – clove, cedar leaves, spicy, chocolate peaty burn
Simon – artificial sweetener, vegetable, smoke, cherry apple smoked wood, chemical, meat
Steve – liquid smoke, bananas
Goran – nutty smoke first, lemon, no fullness
Dan – long, mouth inflammation, pain, pure fucking pain and salt
Simon – long lingering smoke, strawberry, licorice, burn
Steve – smoke
Goran – lemon
Dan – iodine, sea water & smoky house fire, peat, salt
Simon – calms down, becomes regular scotch, less bad but not good
Steve – worse
Goran – n/a
Dan – max payne sitting behind a desk with bullets flying
Simon – #brexit, throwing up
Steve – break stuff whisky
Goran – having died from drowning after a naval battle in the ocean
overall – The best argument for no specific age, in my opinion, remains Jura.
Dan – 5.2/10 (2/10 for an Islay)
Simon – 4/10 (3/10 for an Islay)
Steve – 0/10
Goran – 6/10
The Ileach Peated Islay Single Malt – 40% 750ml – $ – Islay
Try it? No. Buy it? No.